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North Macedonia Exploring Possibility of Procuring Russian COVID-19 Vaccine, Embassy Says

© Sputnik / Vladimir Pesnya / Go to the mediabankRussian COVID-19 Vaccine
Russian COVID-19 Vaccine - Sputnik International
BELGRADE (Sputnik) - The authorities in North Macedonia are exploring the possibility of procuring Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 following consultations with Moscow, the Russian Embassy in Skopje stated on Saturday.

"The issue has been discussed both with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Health Minister Venko Filipche. The North Macedonian side is still studying the available materials on the Sputnik V vaccine. It has been agreed that any issues of interest will be discussed directly between the North Macedonian Ministry of Health and the RDIF", the embassy said.

Since the start of the outbreak, 15,694 cases of COVID-19 have been registered in North Macedonia, including the 140 new positive tests reported on 12 September. In total, 646 people have died as a result of the disease in the country.

North Macedonia’s minister of health Venko Filipche held talks with Russian officials in mid-August to discuss the ongoing clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine. During the consultations, Filipche was also made aware of the possibility of organising the delivery of the vaccine through the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

A health worker in personal protective equipment (PPE) collects a sample using a swab from a person at a local health centre to conduct tests for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), amid the spread of the disease, in New Delhi, India August 31, 2020.  - Sputnik International
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The Sputnik V vaccine has been developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and produced jointly with the RDIF. The vaccine is currently in phase 3 of clinical trials.

Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of the RDIF, has said that at least 20 countries have already submitted purchase requests for the Sputnik V vaccine, and it is hoped that production capacity will reach 500 million doses per year.

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